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New data on infant feeding available for health care providers to help improve breastfeeding rates in Simcoe Muskoka

Oct 28, 2020
SIMCOE MUSKOKA – New data on Feeding Babies in Simcoe Muskoka is available for healthcare partners on the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Health Professional web portal to support their efforts to increase local breastfeeding rates.

SIMCOE MUSKOKA – New data on Feeding Babies in Simcoe Muskoka is available for healthcare partners on the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Health Professional web portal to support their efforts to increase local breastfeeding rates.

“Healthcare partners are in a prime position to ensure parents are educated and empowered to make an informed decision about feeding their babies,” said Dr. Lisa Simon, an associate medical officer of health at the health unit. “They can play a pivotal role, including supporting exclusive breastfeeding up to six months as recommended by Health Canada and the World Health.”

Local data show that although 85% of parents-to-be say they plan to breastfeed their babies exclusively, the reality is that many do not meet their goals within the first few days after birth and exclusive breastfeeding continues to drop off significantly in the first weeks after birth.

This finding, along with other local infant feeding data from before birth up to six months is highlighted on the Feeding Babies in Simcoe Muskoka webpage and accompanying infographics. Information about parents who may require extra support; organizational best practices for hospitals, family health teams and community health centres; and ways health care providers can help parents in the prenatal, labour, birth and postpartum stages give their babies the best start to life is highlighted.

“Despite their desire and efforts to breastfeed, some parents need extra support,” said Dr. Simon. “Research tells us it can be more challenging for moms and families who deliver by C-section, have a birth preterm, are first-time parents, are over 35 years of age, and those who live with an annual income of less than $60,000.”

Breastfeeding is important for nutrition and the growth and development of infants and toddlers. It also has a long-lasting impact on the health of the child and the breastfeeding parent. Breastfeeding offers protection from some infections and diseases, improves environmental sustainability and food security, and decreases social and economic inequities.

For more information on infant feeding visit the health unit website at simcoemuskokhealth.org or call Health Connection weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.

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